Other Language Educators Junior / Senior High School Research-Oriented Presentation
The Teaching of LOTE in a Japanese High School
In Japan, English is the dominant foreign language taught in classrooms and a limited number of high schools provide languages other than English (LOTE) (MEXT, 1996, Okabe, 2002). However, teaching LOTE is said to be beneficial for developing open-minded behavior towards those of different cultures and backgrounds, and improving metalinguistic competence such as expressing oneself and understanding others (Psychol, 1999).
The target organization hosts a program called “Languages of the World” in a newly established high school, which focuses on LOTE. In this course, all first-year students learn five languages: Chinese, Korean, French, German, and Spanish, each taking eight class hours. Not only do the syllabus and materials used in this program focus on language knowledge, such as grammar and pronunciation, they also touches on the cultures of the areas where the languages are spoken. While there were challenges, such as a lack of familiarity with LOTE, and much to be improved in this first-time program, the initiative had several meaningful and productive outcomes for the students. A survey sent out to students after the completion of the school year revealed that many experienced personal growth in cultural understanding.